Court weighs reach of federal bank fraud law

WASHINGTON (AP) — The question at the Supreme Court on Tuesday was whether you have to intend to defraud a bank to be guilty of bank fraud under federal law.

That question, perhaps surprisingly, has produced different answers in lower courts. The justices wrestled Tuesday with how to settle the dispute, amid concerns that a broad application of the federal law would sweep under it many crimes that are usually prosecuted by state authorities.

The court took up the case of Kevin Loughrin, who acknowledges having run a scheme to take merchandise and cash from a Target store in Utah, but does not believe he engaged in bank fraud. Still, Loughrin was convicted under the federal bank fraud statute because he used stolen checks to get the goods from Target.

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